Nigeria risks FIFA ban over federation leadership wrangles

Nigerian have until Monday to sort out the running of their football federation if they want to avoid a ban from world football governing body FIFA.

FIFA issued the West African country with a final warning due to alleged state interference in the running of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). FIFA’s recognised leadership were kicked out of the NFF and a rival faction has taken control.

Should the authority ban Nigeria, they risk missing out from next month’s African Nations Cup qualifiers, jeopardising their quest for a return to the continent’s top football competition, having failed to qualify for the last tournament in 2017.

FIFA do not accept third party interference in its member federations, and said the NFF must be led by its elected president, voted in 2014. If that does not happen, FIFA said it would suspend Nigeria.

“The suspension would be lifted only once the NFF, under President Amaju Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, confirms that it has been given back effective control of the NFF and its offices,” said FIFA.

Pinnick’s long-standing rival Chris Giwa took control after a recent court case recognised him as the NFF president at the end of a protracted legal protest of the 2014 election results.